Fatal 2006 beating of inmate by Coast jailers brought denials, then justice
A woman who died while in custody at the Jackson County Adult jail has been identified.
An autopsy is being performed to determine exactly how 38-year-old Cindy Arnold died, said Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell.
Corrections officers during routine rounds Monday morning found Arnold, of Moss Point, unresponsive in her cell, Ezell said.
Jailers tried to resuscitate her by using CPR and called for medical help, but the woman died, he said.
Arnold’’s death comes amid state and federal investigations into the deaths of 16 state inmates in August and concerns of understaffing at state prisons. State Corrections Commissioner Pelicia Hall has said most of the deaths in August appear to be from natural causes.
In the latest state inmate death, Richard Beasley, 55, died Friday at a Greenville Hospital. He was serving a 28-year sentence for burglary-larceny.
The Jackson County jail is not part of the state prison system.
At least one state inmate’s death in August could result in criminal charges against another inmate. Nija Syvallus Bonhomme, 24, died after a fight with another inmate Aug. 20 at the Wilkinson County Correctional Facility, Hall said in a news release. The facility is a privately-run prison.
The inmate deaths in state custody include men convicted of crimes on the Mississippi Coast. Robert Joseph, 28, died Aug 5 at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Pearl. He was serving time for drug possession.
Albert McGee, 57, died Aug. 2 at the South Mississippi Correctional Institution in Leaksville.
Most deaths reported at jails in Harrison, Jackson and Hancock counties involve natural causes, with some ruled a suicide. At least 15 inmates at county jails in the coast counties have died since 2006, and foul play was found in two of those cases and in a third case in George County, north of the Coast, Sun Herald archives show.
The most recent county inmate death in South Mississippi to make continued headlines is the Sept. 24, 2014 death of diabetic inmate Joel Dixon, 28, who died at the George County jail in Lucedale after he failed to receive medical treatment. Ex-jail nurse Carmon Brannon was found guilty of manslaughter July 30 by a Warren county jury. Brannon is free on a $200,000 bond pending an appeal.
In March 2013, Anthony Eugene Moore, 46, died less than 24 hours after he was punched by another inmate at the Jackson County jail.
Another other inmate had ended an argumentative phone call with a relative, and knocked Moore unconscious as he walked by, Sun Herald archives show. Dionte Jones, 19, was accused of knocking Jones unconscious with a punch to the jaw. Moore’s head hit concrete when he fell, reports show. Jones was arrested but it wasn’t clear Monday if he was convicted.
Moore was being held on a probation warrant. Jones was being held on charges of armed robbery and commercial burglary.